Aristotle’s Criticism of Pre-Socratic Natural Philosophy

Amman, Jordan: Dar Al-Warraq (2006)
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Aristotle (384-322 B.C), a well know Greek philosopher, physician, scientist and politician. A variety of identifying researches have been written on him. It is therefore a considerable pride for the researcher to write something about him when even mentioning his name and his father's name is a point of prestige in the Greek Language. His name means the preferable sublimity whereas Nicomachus (his father's name) means the definable negotiator. His father's and mother's origin belongs to Asclepiade, the favorite origin in Greek. Points of view regarding this figure are controversial some praise him and consider him the peak of philosophical thinker which makes humanity in general owe this genius thinker a great deal. Others believe that the effect of his thought on humanity is the reason behind the non-progress of science. Whatever ones opinion is, his thoughts have a wonderful force in stimulating and positively affecting the people's thinking. His philosophy is the greatest philosophy which the world has ever witnessed or which may ever witness., if it couldn’t solve some of the problems of philosophy, it at least, makes the world more rational than before. He is the founder of the philosophical language in describing a large number of philosophical terms which are still in use nowadays. Moreover his books and platonic dialogues are considered encyclopedias in providing a basis for philosophy even before Socrates. For theses among other reasons, I am choosing Aristotle as a subject for research and concentrating on natural philosophy. The critical side deals with the criticism of natural philosophers. In order to fully understand Aristotle, we should understand his predecessors. Their virtue is undeniable. Without them, Aristotle's and Plato's genius would never be in this ideal shape. In addition to that, they are philosophers and scientists who mixes between science, philosophy, morality and politics in a complementary form. They are a source of illumination to the human thinking in general. Without them humanity could never have got rid of mythology. This is the code of life, for many generations should pass before the rare genius could attain a prominent idea. When Tales formulates the philosophical question, where does the world come from? This is a decisive moment in human thinking similar to the coming moments, the one Parmenides, and Protagoras statement: man is the norm for all things. Pre-Socrates philosophers are all considered glowing points in drawing Aristotle's philosophy. Thus my book is entitles (Aristotle's criticism of Pre-Socratic Natural Philosophy) which means the concentration on the critical operation through which the natural side of the previous philosophers appears. The nature of the title forces me to deal with Aristotle's ideas from every point of view. Thus the book proceeds according to structure and criticism and the construction of Aristotle's philosophy. Because the title is comprehensive and limited simultaneously, I have chosen the critical subjects in the lights of the natural philosophy. I have divided the book into four chapters with fourteen sections in addition to the implemented parts included in every section purporting to cover every part of criticism looking for comprehensiveness. I have found it obligatory to mention something about Aristotle's view in criticism, in addition to a precise delimitation of nature and its subjects. This is the subject of the first chapter. The second chapter deals with the principles of natural body, i.e., the principles dealt with pre-Aristotle philosophy and then these three principles (Hyle, form ,and Non-being). After delaminating these sides, it is possible to deal with the details (Movement, Place, Time, Vacuum and Infinite) which are natural concepts for the third chapter. As a complementation to the natural sides, the chapter four deals with two topics , Universal and corruption, and theory of elements. This book, in my own opinion, is comprehensive to the majority of natural philosophers and it focuses on the argument of Aristotle's criticism to the views of natural philosophers before Socrates together with the discussion of the Aristotelian alternative from these points of view. Aristotle sometimes tends to praise the previous philosophers. This does not mean the non-conformity between what he wants to say and what they described. When he, for example, says that the previous philosophers realized the material defect in Thales idea that water is the origin of all things but Thales’ water is not like Aristotle's Hyle, it is completely different thing. Finally I have viewed the index of Arab Library, and was unable to trace a book which is especially oriented in this subject i.e. writings on Aristotle's criticism to natural philosophy before Socrates. Therefore I have been stimulated to write about a very new subject. This subject fills a gap in Arab studies.



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Abduljaleel Kadhim Alwali
United Arab Emirates University

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